Traveling can be an interesting opportunity for growth and fun. But sometimes, the whole getting-there part can be long, stressful, and expose you to a lot of germs, which can derail your wellness.
Did you know your body is exposed to hundreds of germs on an airplane? In fact, in a recent study from Emory University and Georgia Tech they found that a person infected with the flu and or stomach bug who got on a plane sitting in the aisle, which has three seats per side, has a roughly 80% chance of infecting everyone in the row on that side of the aisle, as well as those in the rows directly in front and behind them! On the other side of the aisle seat directly across from the infected person, those people also have an 80% chance of catching the infection/bug. Yuck!
But don’t get alarmed! All you need to do is make a pre-travel wellness plan to supercharge the immune system that will help you fight off those pesky germs on that flight! You will then have some peace of mind in knowing that you have done what you can to avoid getting sick.
Below are some travel-friendly wellness practices that I have summarized that functional medicine practitioner, Dr. William Cole, D.C., IFMCP recommends. They’ll help keep you at optimal health so you can travel with ease!
- Supplement with Magnesium. Mix it with water and drink right before you get on your flight to help your gut fight the pressure from air travel which leads to gas and constipation. It also helps relax your muscles and betters your sleep to fight jet lag once there.
- Research Food Options. Lack of options and little planning can create unhealthy food choices. Before arriving at your destination, research your restaurant options. Also, check to see if where you’re staying has a fridge or kitchen, because it’s great to have healthy snacks on hand.
- Use a Saline Spray when Flying. Airplanes have dry air, which can leave you feeling dehydrated and can contribute to drying out the mucous membranes in your nose as well. Keeping these hydrated is important because they help to filter out viruses and bacteria. Use saline spray in each nostril—a few times for longer flights. Also, closing the overhead vents from blowing directly on you can help fight the flow of germs.
- Take advantage of the Spa. If you stay somewhere with a sauna utilize it every event you can to help de-stress and reduce inflammation and rid toxins.
- Pack your Own Airplane Food. According to Dr. Cole, you can actually bring coolers of food through security! You still can’t bring liquids but you can pack an entire healthy lunch or dinner that you can enjoy right on the plane so you don’t have to search through airport stores or vending machines for a nutritious snack. Some ideas are homemade wraps, hard-boiled eggs, carrots, celery, other raw vegies, raw unsalted nuts or granola, tea bags to steep in hot water on the plane, collagen and other powders to mix in water
- Get some Movement. Walking around allows you to get your heart rate up and exercise without going to a gym.
- Balance Out with Adaptogens. Traveling creates some disruption to your schedule and can drain you. Bringing powdered adaptogens like ashwagandha, holy basil, and cordyceps mushrooms with you is a great way to keep your hormones balanced, brain clear, and energy high. Adding these to a reusable water bottle or on top of food at restaurants can help you stay healthier during your trip.
- Feed Your Gut. About 80% of your immune system is stored in your gut, so taking probiotics can boost microbiome health while traveling.
- Juicing on the Plane. Did you know you can actually freeze juices and bring them through security? Just place them in a clear sealed plastic bag to get in your healthy greens on the plane.
- Meditate. All the planning and the stress leading up to getting everything done before leaving, plus delays can be a major source of stress. Use long lines, waiting, or impatient people as opportunities to practice mindfulness. There are lots of apps out there that make it easy to take your meditation practice with you.
- Boost Your Immune System with Mushrooms. Stress and jet lag can really put a damper on your immune system. Give your immune system a boost by including more mushrooms in your diet. Chaga and turkey tail are good for their particular immune system–balancing properties. You can get these in powder form to add to green tea. Plus, they’re travel-friendly, so it’s easy to bring them along on your trip to add to drinks and on top of food along with the rest of the adaptogenic herbs!
To get more health and travel-friendly tips, and to see how my partner overcame his stomach cancer years ago without surgery, medication, chemo or radiation, visit my website at http://completehealthylife.com and enter your name and email in the box and you will also receive free newsletters and videos. There is nothing to buy. Help me spread the word and keep the person next to you on the plane healthier.
The Shot You Should Take Before Every Flight (Or When You Are Not Feeling Well)
Making your pre-travel wellness plan will involve stocking up on a few supplements. Some that I suggest are probiotics, magnesium and mushrooms (preferably turkey tail). But one of the best herbs to take with you is elderberry! Elderberry is very high in vitamin C and other beneficial nutrients like potassium, iron, vitamin A, and fiber. It also has some important immune protecting properties!
Because of this herb’s vitamin and mineral rich profile, elderberry is becoming very popular in the wellness world and also a go to ingredient for immune health. You can take elderberry in many forms like capsules or you can pick up a wellness shot at any health shop!
If you’re not near any health food stores to get fresh juice, don’t stress! You can easily make your own version on this elderberry wellness shot right from home.
Recipe for Elderberry Shot:
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tablespoon whole cloves
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2-1/2 teaspoons honey (raw local or manuka)
- 3 teaspoons black elderberry syrup, like this one: https://amzn.to/2Ml954a)
- 8 ounces of pure alkaline water
Heat 8 ounces of water on the stove until steam appears, then remove from heat. Add cinnamon, cloves, honey, and elderberry syrup and stir until honey and syrup are mixed. Cover and let sit until totally cooled. Remove cinnamon and cloves, then add lemon juice. Store in fridge in container that is airtight and drink chilled.
Here is another recipe from http://www.ashleyneese.com but you can find a load of good ones on Google.
Elderberry Immunity Tonic
Ingredients (serves 2):
- 3 cups of water
- 2, 1-inch knobs of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into coins
- 1 tbsp. dried rose hips
- 1/2 lemon
- 3 droppers full of elderberry tincture, like this one: https://amzn.to/2Ml954a
Pour water into a small pot. Add ginger and rose hips. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes. Add the elderberry tincture and lemon juice. Strain into mugs and drink warm.
If it’s too spicy for you from the ginger just add more water. You can store this and reheat it after straining it, adding the elderberry and lemon juice just before serving. You can also double or triple this recipe.
You will also learn how to juice and the benefits you will gain from it by signing up for your free newsletters on my site at http://completehealthylife.com. Help me help your neighbor by spreading the word, not the germs!